SotD79 - Steely Dan

Inspired by our series of articles looking back at music released 30 years ago, Jimmy Hunter takes a step further back in time to give us a Song of the Day 1979. This week, he trusts his memory and hopes Rikki don't lost that number...

My cousin’s husband, a roadie and mobile DJ, introduced me to a lot of music in the 1970s and for that alone, I’ll be forever grateful. One of the many bands I was introduced to is the subject of this week’s SotD79 - Steely Dan’s Rikki Don’t Lose That Number.

Now, I trust my memory and chart facts from the official UK chart website far more than I trust Wikipedia so, dear reader, please keep that in mind. Our trusty online “encyclopaedia” couldn’t be more wrong as it doesn’t list this record as charting in 1979 when we all know that it did. I even remember discussing it with my cousin’s husband and listening to the 1974 album it came from - Pretzel Logic.

Although I’m not a fan of “American rock” (if it’s even a genre) I am however, a massive fan of Steely Dan’s work c. 1972 (Can’t Buy A Thrill) - 1977 (Aja) via Pretzel Logic in 1974. Our featured single is one of my favourites but it shouldn’t be: the melody and musicality gets rid of the doubts. As actually it does with the 3 SD albums I own.

You’re hooked from the piano dahdah-dahdah-dahdah-dahdah intro, the verse flows into a harmonised chorus and all the time in the background you’re aware of the piano. The same hook all the way through and into the guitar solo. You know, I just feel that there was more creativity way back when where you were allowed to listen to the actual music whereas now, it’s all shouty vocals and (striving for) anthemic melodies.

I’d rather listen to this. And, writing this, I have been (and the rest of the album). So, please join me in your faded flared denims, long hair and big collars and tap your toes to a great tune. This version is a wonderful tribute version by The Kites recorded shortly after the sad and untimely death of Walter Becker 18 months go. Enjoy.

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